SubTalk Field Trip: One 'El of a Day
February 19, 2001

It all started at the Seaview Diner, just after 7:00 AM. Sure, it sounds way too early to be awake on a holiday, but not when the day ahead of you involves riding the rails with some good company. BMTman, Thurston, SilverFox, and I were the early risers who met for breakfast, chatter, and show-and-tell (BMTman's newly-acquired 1950s TA rule book); after eating, we drove to East 105 St station on the L and began our journey.

The meeting time for those not wishing to venture out to Canarsie at 7:00 was 9:00 at Jay St station. There, we met up with Lou from Brooklyn and High St-Brooklyn Bridge, then hopped an F bound for Coney Island. After hanging around Stillwell terminal for a little while, we got on a D to Prospect Park. No BMTman-led trip is complete without a visit to the Franklin Ave Shuttle.

We rode the Shuttle to Botanic Gardens, examined the portal where the infamous 1918 Malbone St disaster occurred, and got on a railfan-window equipped R-62A with newly-replaced windows on the 3. We detrained at a rather deserted Junius St station to examine the unpowered New York & Atlantc cutoff from the Livonia el to the Bay Ridge branch, then continued to the end of the line, New Lots Ave.

With no place to go after New Lots, the group headed back to Junius to make the non-transfer to the L. At Broadway Junction, we just caught a J bound for Manhattan, boarding toward the rear of the train. Going over the Williamsburg Bridge, we got a close-up look at the beginning stages of the removal of the westbound roadway. At Essex St, Thurston pointed out the abandoned trolley terminal, clearly visible from the platform but buried under several inches of dirt; then it was across the bridge and back into Brooklyn.

At Myrtle Ave, we transferred to an M, which was only running shuttle service between Myrtle and Metropolitan. As luck would have it, we encountered an off-duty T/O who also happened to be a railfan, and some good conversation ensued. Metropolitan Avenue was our lunch stop, at a deli which also sells MTA hats (go for the hats, not for the food!), followed by a walk through Lutheran Cemetary for a look at the New York & Atlantic trackage. Not much going on, but we did see some CSX movements and a rusting beam which once supported catenary. No R-142 deliveries this day.

For the return trip on the M, we were on the same train of R-42s we had ridden an hour or so earlier. Sights included a pair of CP Rail locomotives sitting on a trestle by Fresh Pond yard and the stub end of the old Myrtle Ave el south of Broadway, severed in 1969. At Myrtle, Lou and Thurston parted company to ride the E through the 63 St tunnel, and the remaining four of us headed back east on the J.

For the third time in the day, we transferred at Broadway Junction- High St-Brooklyn Bridge to the A, the BMTman, SilverFox, and I to the L to return to East 105 St. More accurately, East 105 St via Rockaway Pkwy, just to say we rode to the end of the line. At Canarsie yard, we caught a glimpse of some MOW equipment and a sleeping train of R-40s. Finally, it was time to go home (for me, work), and by the end of the day, we had covered every Brooklyn el except the West End.

Canarsie Line
E 105 St Station
R-42 #4552 at E 105 St
Van Sinderen El
Pitkin El
R-40 #4418 at Livonia Ave
Looking east from Broadway Junction
Stillwell Avenue Terminal
Stillwell Ave Terminal
"Manhattan-bound Upside-down K train, next stop Bay 50 St, stand clear of the closing doors"
R-68A #5026 at Stillwell Ave
Yellow B/D signs peek out from behind the Orange
A remnant of a long-ago Capital Program
Parachute Jump
Livonia Avenue El
New York & Atlantic cutoff
Junius St Station
R-62A #1915 at Junius St
Broadway El & Williamsburg Bridge
ENY Yard
Approaching Myrtle Ave
Williamsburg Bridge
Looking east from Myrtle Ave
Myrtle Avenue El
R-42 at Metropolitan Ave
CP Rail locomotives near Metropolitan Ave
Myrtle Avenue El south of Broadway
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